Wildfires Are Encroaching on the Acropolis, and Other News

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The Acropolis has been forced to close amid an unprecedented heat wave and wildfires.

A heat wave and wildfires sweeping through Greece have forced the Acropolis—perhaps the country’s most significant heritage site—to temporarily close early to visitors. According to Greek press reports, the 3,000-year-old site is being saved from approaching wildfires, which are causing temperatures to exceed 107 degrees Fahrenheit. “Our forces fought an all-night battle [on the Peloponnesian peninsula] to keep the archaeological site and the town intact,” Mihalis Chrisohoidis, the Citizens’ Protection Minister, told local press, noting that the site has been saved for the time being. 

The New York Auto Show cancels this year’s edition again due to rising Covid-19 cases.

Founded in 1990, the New York Auto Show is one of the automotive industry’s hallmark events and attracts more than one million attendees annually. This year’s cancellation marks the second consecutive year the show had to forgo its convention in the name of public health amidst a surge in the Delta variant. Slated to begin on August 5, the convention was expected to commemorate a summer of normalcy following pandemic friction. “The Covid pandemic has challenged our City, the country, and the entire world, but just like the automobile industry, we know that the New York Auto Show will rebound and be bigger and better than before,” says New York Auto Show president Michael Schienberg.

The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park in San Diego

San Diego Symphony unveils its first permanent outdoor music theater in Jacobs Park.

San Diego Symphony is drawing back the curtain on its new amphitheater. The Rady Shell, designed by Soundforms with Flanagan Lawrence, forms the centerpiece of this state-of-the-art venue. Tucker Sadler Architects is lead designer and architect of record of The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park as a whole, encompassing the performance shell, backstage artist support spaces, three professional kitchens, underground restrooms, a raked seating area for up to 10,000 and a publicly accessible park. Offering a panoramic view of San Diego’s downtown, marina, and bay, the Rady Shell stations itself as a design landmark and is scheduled to host more than 100 events this season. “Opening a summer season with rich and varied programming, the Symphony’s first notes at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park will mark the beginning of a wonderful new experience of music and natural beauty in a city like no other,” Martha A Gilmer, CEO of the San Diego Symphony, said in a statement.

Hollywood & Highland undergoes a $100 million renovation to erase its racist history.

Playing host to 25 million tourists annually, the famed Hollywood & Highland mall is undergoing a facelift to eliminate its racist history. The open-air shopping center’s original design drew inspiration from the film set of D.W Griffith’s Intolerance—the follow up to The Birth of a Nation, which was condemned for empowering the Ku Klux Klan during the early 20th century—and faced widespread criticism for protecting a legacy that gassed a racist agenda. With a $325 million acquisition, Gas Capital USA and DJM partnered with Gensler to conduct a major structural and landscape overhaul that will wipe the slate clean by summer 2022. 

RBW’s future headquarters in Kingston, New York

In Upstate New York, RBW will convert a sprawling warehouse into a “factory of the future.”

RBW may have been key to this past decade’s “Made in Brooklyn” movement, but that chapter is coming to an end after the lighting brand closed on a 100,000-square-foot former IBM call center in Kingston, New York, that has sat partially unoccupied for decades. The company plans to convert the sprawling facility into what it deems as the “factory of the future,” which will follow biophilic principles, emphasize its natural surroundings, and target a minimal ecological footprint. “We have long been inspired by some of Europe’s most visionary manufacturing campuses that reflect a thoughtful and holistic approach to planning a company’s footprint,” says RBW partner Alex Williams, who commissioned Neil Logan Architect and local firm Dutton Architecture to oversee the renovation. “In this new facility, we’re driven by creating a space where our operations, our people, and our environment can flourish.” The rigorous, 12-month-long construction process kicks off this month. 

A Sumo statue at the Tokyo Olympics has been spooking equestrians and horses alike.

The Olympics are notorious for spawning flamboyant venues, but none of the sites caught the attention of equestrians and horses more than the realistic sumo statue located near obstacle 10. Positioned beside the 14th jump, the sculpture costs many riders their chance at a medal position as the wrestler’s mawashi, amongst other faculties, deterred the team’s focus during the qualifying rounds. Riders that made it through the unusually testing track walked their horses around the lifelike figure hoping that familiarity breeds success. “As you come around, you see a big guy’s (butt),” adds British rider Harry Charles; “There’s a lot to look at,” echoes Ireland’s Cian O’Connor.

Cyprus opens Ayia Napa with the launch of a mesmerizing underwater sculpture park.

In an exploration of man’s relationship to nature, Jason deCaires Taylor in partnership with Musan has launched a sculpture park featuring 93 artworks located 33 feet underwater. A stone’s throw from Pernera Beach in Cyprus, the park generates a haunting path of sculptural trees dotted with human figures that mimic a terrestrial rainforest. Constructed with ph-neutral materials and weighing 36 tons each, the artworks adapt to the marine ecosystem and grow organically which promote biodiversity. The poignant eco-art movement highlights the trauma of the Mediterranean Sea, and wider oceans, due to human activity and climate change as well as the newfound urgency to revitalize aquatic habitats.

"Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition." Image courtesy See Global Entertainment

Today’s attractive distractions:

Rich people now seem to be obsessed with owning extremely oversized crystals

Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel will embark on a cross-country tour of the United States.

Dorito’s is scouring TikTok to find the chip brand’s next official “flavor confirmer.”

Gene Simmons has secretly been making art for 50 years—and it’s not half bad.

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